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Nigerians, not Chinese, should build our railways, says Duke

FORMER governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke has criticised the idea of engaging Chinese contractors in Nigeria’s infrastructural development.

Speaking on Saturday at a Symposium organised by the Redeemed Christian Church of God and the Nehemiah Leadership Institute to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary, Duke said the country should build its own rail lines.

The federal government engaged the Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC) to execute various infrastructural projects across the country.

But Duke, who bemoaned this development, said, “As long as we continue to outsource our development, we will never gain the confidence to develop our nation.”

“It has to be developed by ourselves. We can talk of rail lines, we are bringing the Chinese to develop the world for us, well, you are outsourcing.”

“We need to take it head-on, be prepared to make the mistakes, build those rail lines, build the things that you require.

“We talk more of investment in infrastructure than skills and that ought not to be and the skills also should involve technology.”

The former governor also spoke on the need for restructuring the nation, saying poor leadership has impeded the growth of the country.

“We had a faulty start from 1950. We started with sectional leadership,” Duke said.

“Restructure the country so that even if poor leadership is at the centre; it does not frustrate the constituent parts of the country. Each part will grow at its own rate.

“As a nation, all the resources and ingredients to make Nigeria one of the greatest nations on earth are there but the chef is missing.”

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